Arts & Culture

Consider Reading Short Stories

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Collections of short stories compiled together in magazines or books are not that difficult to come by, whether you’re browsing in a local library or purchasing a book from a local bookstore. However, these types of stories have remained notable for many years, and yet are continuously overlooked by other types of work — and many readers would rather sit down and read an eight-hundred-page novel than visit a collection of short stories. 

No, short stories aren’t dead — you probably read at least once a week, to begin with. Collections are continuously being published all around the world, and beginner authors are probably sharing theirs in a Facebook community group. But short stories are overlooked or even skipped when they are found, and it’s not an unnoticed fact either. They give a preview to a writer’s work and open a gateway to their possibilities. Even reading just one might help a writer grow and succeed — especially if you read one online and can give constructive feedback and criticism.

If you look at several famous or well-known authors — like Stephen King, Roald Dahl, Edgar Allan Poe, J. K. Rowling, and even E. B. White — you will notice that most of them started off writing short stories, and either publishing them to a collection or sharing them through the media. Some authors even went out of their way to write several short stories and compile them themselves, which is how many of them gained the inspiration to write their novels or poetic pieces. For authors, short stories kind of work as “test runs” before they start their mainstream of work, a form of practice, and if readers like them, they strive for bigger and better works. In a way, short stories are culturally and historically significant.

Short stories are convenient in several ways, and even help readers to get into new genres and appreciate other authors. They should not be overlooked in favor of novels or poems, but rather serve as a reader influence. Daisy Johnson, for The Guardian, says that people should read a short story at least every other day, and discusses how beneficial it can be for both your reading and creative skills, and how they can be just as important and valuable as a regular novel. 

Overall, people shouldn’t ignore a short story when they come across one and should embrace them and take them into consideration — who knows, maybe you’ll enjoy it. From experience, these types of stories help to open several creative windows and help to build imaginative construction for future experiences through other pieces of writing. And they’re a great pastime too — and not too long, either.

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